We are always getting ready to live, but never living.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

When you’re young, you can’t wait. You can’t wait till Christmas, or till your birthday, or till junior high, or till graduation. We’re so eager to get bigger and older, and our hearts are full of hope. 

At the same time, children can also be very present in the moment. They can get lost in a daydream, or get focused on a Lego project, or lose all sense of time playing in the pool on a hot summer day.

This ability to hold a great longing for the future, while being present in the present, can be elusive for us grownups, however. Perhaps this is because when you’re young, so many others are the ones making the plans for our future, whether it’s dinner or the mortgage, or the plans to go see Grandma. In adulthood, though, we’re the ones making all the preparations for the future – making to-do lists, making investments, making travel plans.

We have to learn to cultivate both the planning for the future and the living in the moment. These two tenses, future and present, if done well, will always be in tension. I’m guessing you’re way better at one, the planning, than you are the other, the being. 

To quote David Foster Wallace, I wish you more than luck.

Peace begins with a pause,